Thursday, October 09, 2014

Honduran Dentist prefers education to pulling teeth

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/16, 1/125, -1.0 EV—Off Camera Neewer TT850 using the Neewer 433MHz Wireless 16 Channel to control the flash
Dr. Natalia Velásquez Alonzo is a dentist in the rural Agalta Valley of Honduras. Here she is at her main office at Rancho el Paraíso of Honduras Outreach.

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 800, ƒ/7.1, 1/500
I went with her and the rest of the mobile medical team to a small village El Pedrero two hours north of the ranch on these dirt roads. I felt like a bobble head bouncing around for those two hours. About half way there the electricity to the area stopped.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/3.5, 1/1000
When HOI started going to this community they stopped before they crossed the river and would cross over in canoes. Today they have a bridge to get to the village. When they first started going this was what most of the village people lived in.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 8000, ƒ/5.6, 1/250
The inside of their houses were dirt floors and walls they let the wind and rain through.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 500, ƒ/3.8, 1/100
Dr. Natalia Alonzo worked for the government as a dentist before coming to HOI some five months ago. She went into the schools and taught as she is doing now for HOI.  Here she is teaching the students about dental hygiene in El Pedrero. She prefers doing this as to having to pull teeth.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 1000, ƒ/8, 1/250
Many of the government dentists do not have enough supplies and so many of the patients have many teeth pulled with just one shot or none at all. Dr. Alonzo really likes working with HOI where she has enough supplies to use what would be normal procedures to those in the United States due to the giving that supports the medical team.

Nikon D4, 14-24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/1250
This is the medical clinic in the village El Pedrero. The Toyota Land Cruiser is their mobile medical truck. North Point ministries helped with other groups to buy this vehicle through their "Be Rich" campaign. The idea started at North Point Ministries five years ago and caught on quickly. The message from the pulpit was very simple–you have it, they don't.

Teams are going regularly from the US to help transform Honduras through HOI. The work they have done over the past twenty five years has gotten the attention of the government. Next month the President Juan Orlando Hernández and First Lady Ana García Carías of Honduras are coming to Atlanta to present HOI with an award for outstanding service to their country.


Guy Gardener said...

A dentist and a teacher? That seems quite the undertaking. This is a good thing she's doing, and I hope that she is able to make a positive difference in those kids lives!

Stanley Leary said...


As they say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."